I had this amazing education. Education in life and then education at college—which I had to decide I really wanted. I quit college and took time off and waited tables and was treated like a piece of meat. It was ok for a while and honestly, I thought I couldn’t do any better.

I thought I was stupid—even though I’d done well in high school without cracking a book. I thought I was stupid for getting myself into bad situations I couldn’t find my way out of. Many (or most), were not my fault, but the fault of bad people. Yet, I always blamed myself. “Why are you so stupid, Julie? Why would you go there? Why would you wear that? Why would you drink that? Didn’t you know what would happen?”

Education comes in many forms.

I quit college, moved to Roseville, then to St. Paul. I waited tables. It was a series of random acts of kindness that put me back in college.

There was a $100 tip from someone I didn’t know, that I didn’t give the best service to, that didn’t want to screw me. He didn’t wait around to see my reaction. But, he came back later and I was scared. I wondered what he wanted in return. He said, “I just felt like you’d been having a hard time and I wanted to help you out.”

That was it.

He didn’t want to bed me. He didn’t want me for a threesome with he and his wife. He just wanted to help.

Two men that I waited on frequently—one a contractor and one a real estate agent, wanted to pay for my real estate license classes and fees and hire me to work for them. They thought I was great with people and would do a great job. They took me out and wined and dined me and told me how smart I was and didn’t lay a hand on me.

I started to think….”maybe I could do something else.”

Then, I came back to Fargo for a visit and was in West Acres shopping for Christmas and my freshman English teacher saw me and recognized me. It had been 5 years since I’d had her class.

She asked what I was doing now and I told her. Then, she told me she’d hoped I’d go back to school because that was where I belonged. She’d remembered my papers she’d usually give me “C’s” on, but still remembered them, and that I liked writing.

I went back to school the following year.

I decided to major in mass communications. I thought what the world was lacking in, was great communication. That professor was also head of the fairly new women’s studies department, so I minored in women’s studies.

At that time, possibly because hazel ran it, women’s studies meant multicultural studies, extra humanities and history studies, literature studies.

I had amazing classes in subjects like African history, the economics of poverty and discrimination, and the sociology of gender.

Most of my mass comm classes were easy and boring, but damn, my minor studies opened my eyes to so many things.

So, what have I done with this amazing education?

Mostly nothing but write.

And get a job.

And write.

And wish everyone had the same education.

And not wish everyone had the same education.

And write.

Trust No One

Have you ever been so close to another person, you could finish their sentences? You knew more about them than they knew about themselves? You could see their flaws and their good qualities and you loved them both? And then, that person that you’d told you loved as is, decided they must change? The changes weren’t for you, but they claimed your love helped them make those changes and then they grew away from you?

I’m happy for them, but, it seems to me, the love I had was not returned. It was used and twisted into what they needed it to be. How much easier would my life be if I could use other people’s’ love to make myself strong enough to leave everyone behind?

I’ve spent my entire life being “the strong one” for people that didn’t have a tenth of my strength, but I can’t be strong for myself.

I mean, I’m trying, but I also think I deserve someone to love me out of the darkness, but I will stay for them and love them back. I won’t use them and leave them behind. That’s a shitty person.

Yet, I understand that strength means doing those things I’ve done to help others, for myself. If only I could think as much of my power as they were able to see. I’m happy I helped you.

I think you should help me do what I did for you, for myself.

Where are you?

Fatal Attraction

It’s terrifying. You know? To know that you hold all the cards that may wreck another family.

What’s scarier to me, though?

Is to live with the pain and the hurt of destroying someone else’s life. Maybe, there are good reasons. But, most likely, those reasons are selfish.

And, I know, I’ve spent so many years waiting for someone that lied to me. That’s ok.

But, don’t call it a “Fatal attraction.”

I’ve not gone to his home. I’ve not taken his son; I’ve not told his wife.

Love is a strange thing especially for those that don’t understand it. Love means wishing for the best for someone; stepping aside for them; wanting them to be happy.

But, I can’t deny being very tired of denying my own happiness to allow someone else’s.

There’s too much hate

Hatred is not a worthless emotion, but it’s very similar to love. Some think it’s the opposite, but you can’t hate someone without thinking that they could have been someone you love.

That doesn’t make sense to most people, but it makes sense. The opposite of love isn’t hate. It’s indifference. When you cease to care about a person you once loved, it’s because you don’t care. If you feel hatred towards them, it’s a reflection of your own fear.

People fear what they don’t know and it will always be this way. People prefer comfort even if they know it’s a big lie. That’s why the biggest homophobics are secretly gay. This is why the biggest atheists are seeking something to believe in, this is why idiots hate the educated. Everyone is searching for someone like themselves. The weak conform. The strong become leaders–not dictators, not bosses, but leaders. Dictators want everyone to adore them, even when it’s a lie out of fear. Bosses want to tell everyone how to think; how to feel; how to act. Leaders lead people to live as they do: with conviction, with strength, with love, and with truth.

Be a leader.